Evaluation of herbaceous plants for attractiveness to bumble bees for use near cranberry farms

  • Published source details Patten K., Shanks C.H. & Mayer D.F. (1993) Evaluation of herbaceous plants for attractiveness to bumble bees for use near cranberry farms. Journal of Apicultural Research, 32, 73-79.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Plant dedicated floral resources on farmland

Action Link
Bee Conservation
  1. Plant dedicated floral resources on farmland

    Patten et al. (1993) planted four 1.2 x 1.8 m plots of each of 17 flowering species next to commercial cranberry Vaccinium macrocarpon bogs in Washington State, USA. Five plant species attracted more than 30 bees/plot/count on average: catmint Nepeta mussini, borage Borago officinalis, phacelia, anise hyssop Agastache foeniculum and Korean mint A. rugosa. Short-tongued bumblebee species Bombus mixtus, B. occidentalis and B. sitkensis (cranberry pollinators) strongly preferred three plant species: bird's-foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus, Korean mint and anise hyssop (averages of 17, 23 and 19 bees/plot/count respectively) but did not visit borage or phacelia much (averages of 1 and 5 short-tongued bees/plot/count, respectively). Two long-tongued species, the Californian bumblebee B. californicus and B. caliginosus visited borage and phacelia in large numbers (>70 bees/plot/count).

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